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Celebrity Eclipse
Stateroom 1091

Celebrity Eclipse: The "Conveyance" Journey
The Sham-WOW of Cruise Ship Experiences

by Linda Coffman

PART TWO, Celebrity Eclipse

Following the launches of Celebrity Solstice in 2008 and Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse is the third of five Solstice-class ships being built at Meyer Werft for Celebrity Cruises. At 1,040 feet long and 121 feet wide, the 122,000 ton Eclipse will carry 2,850 passengers in stylish comfort. Even in her unfinished state it was obvious from what we could see that she will be as beautifully appointed as her predecessors (see the links above for Cruise Diva's exclusive reviews of the other Solstice-class ships). Tile murals already in place along the staircase connecting the Aquaspa on Deck 12 and Relaxation Lounge on Deck 11 are simply exquisite. The spa itself will have an earthier green-based color scheme and a slightly altered entryway to separate and improve the flow between the fitness center and main spa areas.

Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Eclipse
Stairwell Tiled Mosaic Walls The Grand Foyer Tree

After picking our way through the Persian Garden and through the Relaxation Lounge, we headed for the Grand Foyer, which already has its 18-foot tree in place. On Eclipse, the "pot" is a round vessel crafted of the same resin that's used in race car bodies—super strong and light. Beneath a crystal chandelier, the asymmetrical Grand Foyer staircase will be the place for grand entrances.

No tour of a Solstice-class ship would be complete without a stop at the Martini Bar on Promenade Deck. While the bar itself isn't covered in ice yet, the aft wall celebrates the ice theme with organic shapes depicting the cracking of ice. Basically, the rest of Promenade Deck is identical in layout to the other Solstice-class ships with the only alterations being made in the color schemes and décor. Also like the other ships, a two-deck wine tower anchors the main restaurant, which appeared huge in its unfurnished state.

Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Eclipse
Martini Bar Martini Bar "Crushed Ice" Wall Detail
Celebrity Eclipse
Entertainment Court floor inlay

Up to the Entertainment Deck, we stopped to admire the inlaid floor in the Entertainment Court below before passing through the Eclipse Theater show lounge where it was pointed out that artwork hung at the entrances is mirrored in the theater's ceiling. Naturally, the shops are incomplete (darn!), but Bistro on Five and the Café al Bacio and Gelateria are taking shape.

My favorite public area of the Solstice-class ships is the Ensemble Lounge where one can conveniently enjoy an aperitif  before dining in one of the nearby specialty restaurants: Murano ($35 per person cover charge), Tuscan Grill ($25 per person cover charge), and—new aboard Celebrity Eclipse—Qsine ($30 per person cover charge), which replaces the Asian-inspired Silk Harvest found on Solstice and Equinox. Also located in this area is Blu, the dining room for occupants of Aquaspa accommodations.

It's Qsine that above all captured my attention. The brainchild of Celebrity's Vice President of Culinary Operations, Chef Jacques Van Staden, he describes Qsine as a new approach to food. Modern and playful, Van Staden explained it to us as a blend of childhood favorites and memorable food experiences—an extreme makeover for food. Menu items are sized to share and the dining experience is interactive. For instance, you make your own guacamole to accompany the rectangular tacos. The restaurant itself is a Wonderland worthy of Alice herself. Whimsical upside down table lamp chandeliers hang from the ceiling and the furnishings, which we didn't see, promise to be as unique as the food presentations.

Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Eclipse
Qsine: Quirky "Chandelier" Qsine: Cuisine

Naturally, there are outdoor areas aplenty. While the grass hasn't been planted on the Lawn Club yet (installation is awaiting warmer and more favorable weather), all the pools and solarium lack are deck chairs, water, and sunshine. And passengers, of course!

Celebrity Eclipse Celebrity Eclipse
Pool Deck Solarium, with overhead solar panels

With our tour complete, we were able to sample a few of Qsine's menu items, pictured above—"Popcorn Fish & Chips" (Boddington's-battered codfish and chips served with malt vinegar or aioli), "Crunchy Munchies" (Gaufrettes, French fries, and Sweet potato strings), "Garlic Brioche" (wrapped in paper cones), and "Disco Shrimp" (Poached Tiger Shrimp, avocado, tomato and celery, dressed in a cocktail Aioli with crunchy toppings). Each dish is served in an appropriate container. The Disco Shrimp intrigued us with it's flashing blue cube embedded in ice.

Celebrity Eclipse
Signing the steel wall

While my time aboard was short, I left my mark upon Celebrity Eclipse. Along with fellow "conveyancers" I signed a designated spot of bare steel. Of course it will eventually be covered by an art piece, but I'll always think of Celebrity Eclipse as "my" Solstice-class ship.

After arriving in Eemshaven, Netherlands, where we departed, Celebrity Eclipse was set to embark on sea trials, followed by a series of promotional events in Hamburg, Germany, and Southampton, England, where the vessel will be the first in the Celebrity fleet to be dedicated to the UK market.

During her 2010 inaugural season, Celebrity Eclipse will offer cruises in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia and Russia, as well as short cruise options to Le Havre (for Paris), France, and Cork, Ireland, all roundtrip from Southampton. The ship will then sail Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Miami, Florida, after crossing the Atlantic in November 2010.

Back to the Conveyance in Part One

From Cruise Diva's Blog, cutting the steel: Celebrity Silhouette Takes Shape 

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